Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Something Off

For the past few weeks, something has been off with me.   I have been really tired and grumpy and prone to dizzy spells and headachey and body achey.  I thought maybe it might have something to do with the sugar wean, but it wasn't making sense.  Then, I thought maybe I had pushed myself too hard for that 5k PB...but that didn't feel right either.  I was about to call my doctor to set up an appointment.

Luckily, I work on a health care website in my real world job and when I was doing some start of month updates for May - I started reading something I was updating and then I had an epiphany and quickly pulled up the page on Iron Deficient Anemia.

Yeah - I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner.  As a vegetarian, I've had anemic spells before.  Usually I catch it while I am just tired but I've been very busy and not eating great and too tired to cook or do anything and then the dizzy spells started to eclipse everything.   Once I made the connection and compared my symptoms, I feel like such a dummy.

So today, I took a second rest day and tonight I will start combating the anemia.   And, hopefully, it will turn around quickly so I can get back to being me.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

First Reservoir Loop of 2013

This week my long run got to be on Sunday after hubby asked me to swap it so he could have the car on a Saturday morning.  That left me without a partner, so I put the call out on Twitter to find someone to run with

And Michelle was quick to respond.   We arranged to meet up at 9 at the Glenmore Running Room.  She is training for Calgary Full so she ran10 or 11k before she had to meet me.

Perfect weather for a reservoir loop...albeit a little windy.  I wore my Urban Running Girl shrug over a tank and my magic pants and was just about perfectly dressed (for me).

Today was also the Calgary Police Half and it also loops the reservoir so we had some competition on the paths (well, not really - by the time we headed out - it was just the end of the crowd) but it gave Michelle ample opportunity to capture shots of volunteers along the way.

We did the clockwise loop from Glenmore Landing at a relaxed pace.  I was really happy to take it easy since my legs have been feeling really heavy this past week.  Perhaps it is a recovery from Spring Trio thing...

And I was also very happy to finally see signs of spring along the way

Pussy willows

 The ice breaking up

But, while nature is realizing that Spring is landing...the humans have yet to do the same.  I was sad to see that none of the seasonal washrooms are unlocked yet. :( 

As we came out of the Weaselhead, there were the CPS Bagpipers...just packing up at the end of the race.  We ended up having to chase them for a bit to get a photo.

Quick selfie of the two of us:

The miles passed easily with great conversation.  Michelle and I are really well matched on long slow run paces.

By the time we were running along Glenmore the end was in sight and we were both looking forward to continuing the conversation over coffee.  

As we passed Heritage Park, I was quick to notice that all of the flags were at half mast...a fitting tribute for the Police Half

Speaking for tributes - the Thank You banner that Michelle had made for the Calgary Running community to sign was given a place of honour at the start line today:
(Michelle's pic)
We capped off the run with a lovely stretch before heading in for the most important part...coffee

The longest runs of this training cycle are almost done...15k next week, 16 the following...and then taper for my big goal race - the Jugo Juice 10k at Calgary Marathon.  I can't believe it's almost here!

The Garmin Geekery for today:

and, for a laugh:

I'm not sure my Garmin was on the same run as I was.  

Thanks for a great run, Michelle.  Looking forward to the next one.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Training My Kids

This year, my kids are "running" the Sport Chek Mother's Day Run with me and hubby.  They've enjoyed past years from the comfort of their stroller but we sold the stroller last summer.  So they have no choice but to run.  And they are super excited about it.

My initial plan was to modify couch to 5k and actually do an 8 week training plan with them...but a late start to spring in these parts meant there weren't safe enough conditions out here in Langdon to actually take them out for a run.

So, with my long run swapped to tomorrow and my being on kid duty today..and the BEAUTIFUL day...we HAD to go for a run.

and I was a bad blogger.  I didn't even bring my camera with me :(  I wish I had.  There were so many magical moments that are now just captured in my brain. Like these:

  • Meeting every dog along the way and listening to Doodle approach them and ask, ever so politely "Excuse me.  May I please pet your puppy?
  • Discovering a ladybug on the pathway and stopping to let it crawl between their fingertips
We stopped and played at a couple of playgrounds.   We walked and talked more than we ran.   I ran laps around the park.

In the end - I got in 4k...at a whopping 16 mins/km.  Not breaking any records there...but it was a lovely way to pass a saturday morning with my daughters.

And for comedy's sake - the Garmin Geekery

I think we'll do it again next week too...that should prep them fairly well for the race.


Psst - it's not too late to join our family team for the race.  Just email me for details on how to register.  Joining our team saves you $5 off the regular registration fee.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday Reads: A Happy Accident by Evan Tyler

Disclaimer: I was contacted directly by the author with a request to review this book.  I received the eBook for free but any opinions about the book are my own.

First a synopsis:  A Happy Accident is a love story (inspired by Steven Tyler).   We first meet Bobby, the lead singer in a punk band at the end of 1979 and watch as he falls for Kindle.  Love at first sight as far as he's concerned.   Kindle is feisty and doesn't really believe him or his affections, having been the product of a relationship between her chambermaid mother and a guitarist in a band.  She is skeptical.   But days later, they are married simply because neither thought the other would go through with it.  Suddenly thrown into married life, rather than getting a quick annulment, they both take a wait-and-see approach and from it a simple love develops, but not one without complications.   Bobby's band is on the cusp of stardom and Kindle has aspirations of her own.   Throw in a few secrets and then add a baby into the mix and the story becomes complicated fast.  This is the first book or what I presume will be a trilogy.

This was a quick read for me...it is about 250 pages long and I liked how well the story moved.  Tyler developed the characters well and they soon come to feel like people you might actually know in real life.   I found it a bit hard to believe that any up and coming band would hang out in Manchester for a full year when they were right about to make it big...usually bands need to work their arses off a lot harder than that...but you could also see how Bobby was holding the band back with his sudden marriage.

I liked the story.  The only real beef I had was that, while it didn't really get too hung up on anything, it also avoided a lot of conflicts that could have enriched the story greatly.   For example, there is a promoter at one club that the band plays at who makes no secret of the fact that she wants to sleep with Bobby...but they are never really put into any compromising positions where it might affect Bobby's relationship with Kindle.   Not even when the same woman turns up as a student in same acting class as Kindle.

This book had a great story with a ton of potential.  I hadn't given much thought to the fact that it would be part of a trilogy so some of the sections felt disjointed, but only where it jumped ahead tot he future.  The author had contacted me based on my review for One Day and I can easily see where the comparisons can be drawn between the two.   I am looking forward to reading future books in the trilogy because this felt like something that is part of a bigger picture and I am willing to wait and see how that bigger picture unfolds.

You can pick up A Happy Accident in Paperback or for Kindle through Amazon

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Speedwork x 2

Sooo hot out there.  I wish I'd had a tank in my office workout wear drawer.   But I shouldn't complain.  It snowed just 4 days ago.  And probably will again before we formally welcome Spring here.

I took my new Gymboss timer out for some speed intervals...

I started off along Macleod Trail - and, for once, didn't need to wait more than 30 seconds for the light to change!  My legs felt sluggish but I chalked that up to poor fuel timing (I ate my Larabar and then got absorbed in some HTML coding I was doing and when I looked up an hour had lapsed.  ooops).  So I warmed up for 1km and then turned on the timer.

I set it up for 10 intervals at 15 seconds each.   I even jogged through the rest intervals instead of walking.  When the timer beeped to tell me the set was done - I was exhausted...but happy to be done.

Ready to just steady state run the rest of the workout - Off I went...and then I accidentally hit the start button again and couldn't turn it off!!!  I was faced with the choice of beeping annoyingly for the next 5 mins (which included a stretch past a high school at lunch) or running the intervals again.

So I did another 10 intervals.  I think its safe to say I did speedwork today.

Good thing I wore my Magic Running Pants

and Holy crap was it ever hot out...I started with the wind in my face and it felt pretty good...but once I was in the shelter of the residential street - I was dripping hot.

As Leana would say - it's not sweat...it's LIQUID AWESOME!

Three Things Thursday

1) Tina kind of blew my news on her blog first...but I'm going to announce it anyway.  Late last week, I was selected to be an ambassador for Chick'd Apparel.

Not only that, but Tina was also selected so now we have 2 ambassadors right there in Calgary!

I am super excited about this opportunity and this company.  They are a Canadian eco-friendly athleticwear company who actually manufactures their clothing IN CANADA!  And the stuff is CUTE!  I don't apply for many ambassadorships - they do really need to align with my own values and the more I learned about this company, the more excited I got. It felt like such a great fit for me that I just had to apply!

I am so happy to be partnering with this company and joining a team of great Chicks!   I am really looking forward to sharing more about the company and their clothing in the coming months.  Be on the lookout for many, many product reviews here!


2) I haven't written about it much lately - partly because I don't want to flood the blog with it before I have really figured everything out - but I am still sugar-free.
More or less.   I have likely had sugar when I'm eating out and I had to cave and buy products containing sugar (like breads and veggie burgers) for meals., but those were more about poor planning than anything.   I really need more hours in a day so I can really figure out how I want this to work in my life.  And I need more days in a weekend so I can prep more :P


3) This week, I borrowed the 10 Minute Trainer video set from a coworker to see if I might like it.  I have been needing strength work and, since I discovered I really can't do the Jillian Michaels videos without potentially injuring myself, that meant I was relegated to finding something short that I can do in the evenings.  Turns out I actually really love these videos!  I've always liked Tony Horton so it wasn't a stretch there.  In a last ditch effort to use my free trial month of Amazon Prime (free 2 day shipping FTW) - I ordered the set for myself.

They should be waiting for me when I get home today!   I'll do a full review of them in a few weeks but I am sure you'll be hearing more about them as I work my way through.


and a couple of Calgary-related tidbits (I know, I know...it's supposed to be THREE things thursday but these are worth mentioning.

My friend, Michelle, has arranged for a banner to be available at the Calgary Police Half expo this Friday and Saturday.  It is a thank you to the Calgary Police Service from the Calgary Running Community - thanking them for all they do to keep us safe while we enjoy our races.   Please drop by Mount Royal University and sign the banner if you can. It will hopefully be presented on Sunday before the race. 

She has posted all of the details on her blog, Fine Fettle Frets

and - did you see?  Calgary Marathon revealed the t-shirt and medal designs last night!  I love them all!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Pedometers and Bikes don't Mix

Ever since I started using the office gym more, I have been very sad about the fact that I am working my arse off (hopefully literally) and my fitbit is only showing half the steps that a run would garner me.  I mentioned it on Twitter and a friend of mine told me she wears hers on her sock when she cycles.  Brilliant.

So I tried that today...clipping it to the outside of my shoe.

and same # of steps as when I clipped it to my waist or shirt hem..  ARGH!  

So I dialed up the tension on the bike (or whatever you call pushing that button until it's harder.   I suppose dialing is a bit old school nowadays) and plugged myself into a couple more episodes of Arrested Development.

Loving this, though it may be a bit too funny for gym workouts...luckily the gym was practically empty today.

I even managed to get a little selfie to prove it was me putting in the work

Ok - I look a little demented there...eep

In the end - it worked out to 40 mins on the bike. Not as many miles as Monday, but I did make it considerably harder so it all balances out.

I was thoroughly sweaty and disgusting when I was done but that is all good.  Thank goodness for baby wipes and curly hair...makes it easy to look (and smell) somewhat office presentable after...

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tuesday Hills

I was supposed to run with Tina today, but she ended up unable to run so I headed out for my lunchtime run solo.

It gave me a good chance to test drive my new tights from Run Girl Run

First thoughts: Nice fabric.  There is fleece lining on the front of the thighs for extra Canadian Winter Warmth.  The website said the inseam was 31 inches.  At first, they appeared to stretch to accommodate my 35 inch inseam perfectly, though I found that they shortened a bit as I ran.
a bit too much sock showing...
I may attempt to sew some sort of gripper inside the hem to hold them in place.  They are mid-rise so cover most of my jiggly bits.  I did find the waistband dipped down a bit in the back on me but not too bad.  You can see it in the photo.  They also stayed in place fairly well.  The reflective treatment is pretty and there is a small reflective logo on the back as well.  There is also a small zippered pocket in the back of the waist.  I think I'll get a fair bit of use out of these next winter (or now - if winter decides to actually never end).  


So - back to the run - I headed out and ran the same 3 hills as last time - twice each hill.

That third hill was a killer...here's me wheezing after I bolted tot he top of it

and then I headed back to the office.  Run done.  and pretty fast for 6 hill repeats.

Tina said she was going to try to come for a little chat after and I met up with her as I got into the parking lot.  So I fired up Nike again and we had a little cool down walk together.  Call it a sneaky way to get to 5k.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Monday X-training

Despite running both days on the weekend (and earning a helluva PB in the process), I decided that Monday called for a bit of cross training in the office gym.  Onto the bike I went.  And this time, like magic, it was like I knew how to program it so I actually got a decent workout.

And got to watch 2 episodes of Arrested Development while I was at it (love having a mobile package on my tablet).

The gym is getting busier and busier, earlier and earlier.  I went at 11am today and it was almost packed with people. (half selfie, half sneaky shot of the crowded room :P)

I ran through 40 mins of the random program set to a pretty challenging tension and finished up at 9.5 miles by the end of the 5 min cooldown.

I also had my fitbit clipped to the hem of my top, but it still didn't register very high on the ol' steps. The whole workout amounted to maybe 2500 steps.   If I make it to 7000 steps today, I am going to count that as my 10,000.

Great workout and an awesome way to shake out some of the lead in my legs after yesterday's race!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Race Report: Spring Trio 5k 2013

Some background:

Me and the 5k distance have had a difficult time since I started running 3 years ago.  It seemed as though I could get really close to 30mins in training runs but as soon as you put me in a 5k race - I would choke and end up way over 30mins.  I tried to convince myself that it was because the distance always felt more like a training distance than a race distance.  That 5ks don't really count and that I was just not a very fast runner so getting below 30 mins might actually not be in the cards for me.

And then I started going sub-30 in the first 5k of my 10k races.  It just didn't make sense.   and I was still stuck.   Last fall, at Run at the Ranch, I had a bit of a breakthrough.  If that race had had a flat finish, I would have definitely gone sub-30.   Way sub-30.   I finished it with a new PB at 30:32 thanks to the mountain before the finish line.

and the fires started to burn for a sub-30 5k.  2013 was going to make it happen.

My first 5k of the year was in Florida at Disney and was just a slow, costume fun run.  No PB there and I didn't expect it.

My 2nd 5k of the year was going to be it - but slushy cold conditions at St. Paddys made it impossible.  I had to content myself with working my arse off for a 33min finish.

and I was steamed about it.  I needed redemption.   Leana suggested Spring Trio 5k, where her 5k PB had happened.  I signed up that same day.

Race Package

Not much to write home about.  The 5k shirts are short sleeve cotton shirts.  I do love the design this year and will probably wear it a fair bit.   The bib contained the chip.

On to the race recap:

I had another interrupted night of sleep last night.  And when I finally fell into a deep dream at 4am, I had a disturbing dream about the overnight snowfall and later race start throwing me off...and then I missed the race.  I woke with a start.   and was super relieved to see 7am on my clock instead of the 10:47am that had been on my wristwatch in the dream!  I was NOT happy to see THIS out my front door, though...

More snow.   Boo.  My twitter friends confirmed that there was snow in the city as well, but JS (who lives just off downtown) was quick to let me know that it was pretty light down there.  As long as the paths weren't icy - I knew I had a shot.  It is a flat-ish course and I run it several times a month usually so I stood a good chance of meeting my goals today!

I ate my breakfast and got ready to head into the city - aiming to arrive by 9:30.  With enough time for a potty break and to chow down on a Larabar before the start.

I even had time to hit the Running Room and find my favourite sports bra on sale!  Things were looking up!

Then, as I was running to get my wallet, I ran into Alida (remember, I ran Harvest Half with her last year...and she was on my K-100 team) and her mom, Ingrid (also from my K-100 team).  She was running the 15k today.  We chatted a bit then I rushed off to finish my shopping before gun time.

Once I headed outside, the start line was pretty quiet.  The air was crisp but it was warm in the sun.  I was happy I had trusted my clothing choice.

Alida joined me at the start and we chatted some more and I remembered to get my camera out:

and then, right before the start of the race, I spied Michelle over at the edge so popped over quickly to say Hi...and got to meet her friend Maria.

Seconds later the race started.   And I was so not seeded properly.  But I was off like a shot and feeling pretty lead leggy until I glanced at my Garmin...and saw 5:09/km!!!!  I had to dial that in pronto but used the opportunity to re-seed myself - pulling ahead of the slower runners.

I felt good.  No sign of cramping and after my legs had warmed up and my speed had mellowed a bit, I was still trucking along at a nice clip.  I made myself a promise that I could walk at the turnaround.   I just had to get there first.

As I passed the 2k mark, I started seeing 5k people on their way back.   And there weren't as many as I expected.

I hit the turnaround at 13 mins and change and gave myself that walk break.  I was pushing hard and could feel it.   I drank some water and then started to run again.   I passed Michelle and then Alida and, shortly after, saw another familiar face form my K-100 team - Lucy!   I was flying and feeling so good...but pushing so hard.

At around the 3.5k mark,I had to take another 20 sec walk break for some water but I could taste my new PB!  I shoved my headband and gloves in the empty bottle holster on my belt and I started to run again with my eye on the prize.

When I saw the turn off to the finish chute, I could hear some kids cheering before I could see them.  As I came to them, I shouted "High fives for the big finish!" and they were giddy as they stuck their hands out for me.  Their dad yelled "Thanks" so I have a feeling that made their little day!  Then it was there...the finish line.  I could see the clock saying 27mins and high in the seconds - but I had started really far back.  I pushed and pushed with everything I had...and crossed the line.

Now as far as goals went, I was going to be happy with anything under 30 mins.  28 mins seemed blindingly fast for me and I didn't think I would be anywhere near that...

But I finished in 27:25.

A new PB by 3 mins and 7 seconds!

and 4th in my Age Group!  4TH!!!  I was never really a contender for 3rd - she finished a min and a half ahead of me...but to finish 4th is the highest I've ever placed.

Tears sprang to my eyes and I just fist pumped and said "YES!" as I did a little happy dance all around the plaza!

I had to sit down and relish the moment for a bit...that and I was wobbly and exhausted.  A feeling I have never really had without the distinct feeling I was about to puke.

And I was elated!  WOOT!  At last the curse was broken!  I had my sub-30!  And DAMN did it feel good!

This is BY FAR the fastest I have ever run...period.   I've had some pretty swift moving speeds on weekday runs but never clocked in this fast.

My speed and hill training is paying off!   It's very exciting!

The Garmin Geekery: